While our Chief Executive Officer, Jaroslav Gaisler, was busy preparing presentations for the shareholders with his team, the rest of his family had a slightly more interesting weekend. Together with the Czech ambassador’s family and a representative from Happy Hearts Fund Indonesia (HHFI), his wife and children headed out to Sumba.
It took only three hours flight from Jakarta via Denpasar to reach Sumba. The island is known for its never-ending empty beaches and extraordinary landscapes of lush rain forests, home to various endemic species. You can expect to see untouched waterfalls, hidden lagoons and lakes, green hills and vast savanna. Horses can be seen running freely around the island, together with buffalos. Both of which are major status symbols in Sumba.
Needless to say, the Gaisler family were extremely excited about the trip, since everybody who has visited Sumba talked about their experience in superlatives.
Sharing with the People of Sumba
However, the beautiful natural landscape was not the main reason for the Gaisler family’s visit to Sumba – at least not this time around. This time, they came to offer their helping hand to the people of Sumba together with HHFI.
Sumba, rated the second poorest island in Indonesia, with families having 5-6 children on average, is in urgent need of schools. HHFI has an ambitious goal: to build 100 new pre-schools and schools on the island itself. In support of this goal, during their visit, the Gaisler family painted and decorated the newest school built by HHFI and distributed donated toys, clothes, stationary and food to the local community.
“We saw the kids in a small local pre-school and even shook hands with the wise old man who provided land for the school for free, as he knows that through education, people can change stereotypes in the society and move Sumba forward into prosperity.” said Jana Gaislerova, wife of Jaroslav Gaisler.
The Unique Stay in a School Building
The Gaisler family were absolutely amazed by their accomodation in Sumba. Although they were aware that they wouldn't be staying in a typical hotel, the reality exceeded their expectations. During their visit, they stayed in a school building, which serves as a boarding school that hosts almost 50 Sumbese students. The school is run by Sumba Hospitality Foundation founded by Inge de Lathauwer, who also serves as the school’s Chairwoman.
As a part of the program, the students took care of their guests in (currently) five bungalows, a restaurant and a front desk. The school’s curriculum includes cooking, English classes and gardening in their own school garden, where they grow their own vegetables and fruits. The students are also encouraged to communicate with the guests in English, and they are doing an absolutely amazing job. After almost a year of studying, the students are assigned to different hotels in Sumba and Bali, to put what they have learnt to practice in a real hospitality world.
A majority of the students were able to get a job offer right after their internship. That shows the level of quality of the education they are getting. Due to such reputation, the number of applicants for the second term even reached 800!
If you want a more productive and empowering kind of weekend experience, give a visit to Sumba a shot and do it like the Gaislers!